Wed. Aug 12th, 2020

Sevenoaks District Local Plan – Update


In October 2019 Forum Committee Members were looking forward to voicing their views on the Sevenoaks District Council Local Plan 2019-2035, but to everyone’s dismay the Planning Inspector called a halt to the Inquiry after just 4 days. To update you the following is an extract from Sevenoaks District Council’s website:
“On the 17th of April 2020 SDC began Judicial review proceedings after the Government Planning Inspector refused to endorse its new Local Plan…… The Secretary of State for the Department for Communities which is responsible for the Planning Inspectorate, will have the opportunity to respond before a judge decides if the case should proceed. In the light of the Coronavirus outbreak it is not possible to estimate when a hearing may take place.”

The dispute is over the issue that SDC have stated that they can only envisage building 9,410 new buildings between 2019-35 and not the Government’s target of 11,312. The Inspectorate insist that SDC did not comply with the requirement to off load the forecast under delivery to other local authorities. There is ample evidence that the Council did try. However, it was apparently not done in the way the Government would have liked.

We still maintain that this target was too high in the first place and is based on a very flawed method for calculating housing need. We have repeatedly requested the Minister for Housing and Local Government to explain their formula and they have failed to do this, but we will continue to persist for a proper answer.

When this is all done and dusted we will be requesting information on just how much money has been spent on this debacle.

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